Wallingford man burned in fire pit explosion


WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Wallingford man is recovering after a fire pit he was trying to light exploded. He poured gasoline onto it to try to get a fire started.

It happened Sunday afternoon at a house on South Whittlesey Avenue. The man was badly burned, but he’s expected to survive. He made it to the yard of the house next door, where a neighbor helped him put the fire out with a garden hose. When emergency responders arrived he was in a lot of pain.

“He was covered with fuel and had serious burns to 30 to 40 percent of his body,” said Battalion Chief Edward Butkus of the Wallingford Fire Department.

Officials stayed at the house to investigate after the 41-year-old man was taken to the hospital.

“I believe he’s going to have weeks if not months of treatments,” said Butkus. “Burns are some of the worst injuries you can have, so it’s going to be a while for him.”

Fire officials say never to use gasoline or any other flammable liquid to start a fire, since it is volatile and very dangerous. There are other options – like paper – that are safer.

“They do have some grill lighters and things like that, like charcoal fluid, that you can use that is a lot less volatile than gasoline,” said Butkus.

Though lighting a fire in a fire pit is not allowed in some communities, Wallingford residents can use them, as long as the fire is kept under control.

“There’s an ordinance in town about fire pits in town, chimineas and fire pits. They’re legal as long as they don’t become a nuisance,” said Butkus.

The man was taken to Midstate Medical Center and then airlifted by LIFE STAR to Bridgeport Hospital, where he’s being treated in the burn unit.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s